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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 12 (1998), Issue 6, Pages 423-430

Electrogastrography: A Noninvasive Technique to Evaluate Gastric Electrical Activity

Claudia P Sanmiguel,1 Martin P Mintchev,2 and Kenneth L Bowes2

1Department of Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
2Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Received 12 November 1997; Accepted 28 May 1998

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Electrogastrography (EGG) is the recording of gastric electrical activity (GEA) from the body surface. The cutaneous signal is low in amplitude and consequently must be amplified considerably. The resultant signal is heavily contaminated with noise, and visual analysis alone of an EGG signal is inadequate. Consequently, EGG recordings require special methodology for acquisition, processing and analysis. Essential components of this methodology involve an adequate system of digital filtering, amplification and analysis, along with minimization of the sources of external noise (random motions of the patient, electrode-skin interface impedance, electrode bending, obesity, etc) and a quantitative interpretation of the recordings. There is a close relationship between GEA and gastric motility. Although it has been demonstrated that EGG satisfactorily reflects internal GEA frequency, there is not acceptable correlation with gastric contractions or gastric emptying. Many attempts have been made to relate EGG 'abnormalities' with clinical syndromes and diseases; however, the diagnostic and clinical value of EGG is still very much in question.